MODESTO (CBS) – It’s a story made for daytime TV: 41-year old Modesto high school teacher James Hooker left his wife and children after falling for his 18-year-old student.
Television host Dr. Phil McGraw took a shot at the couple’s claim that the relationship started after Jordan Powers’ 18th birthday.
“We actually fell in love toward the end of January,” Hooker said on an episode of “Dr. Phil” that aired Tuesday. “It was a little bit of hugging, a little bit of kissing.”
“I didn’t even think about him being my teacher, him being married,” Powers said. “I didn’t care.”
“There were no text messages, phone calls, secret meetings, going to hotels, anything of that nature?” McGraw asked Hooker.
“No,” he replied.
But McGraw appeared to catch Hooker in a lie, pulling up phone records that showed the two were in contact while Powers was a minor.
“But on July 21st of 2011, there are five text messages between you two between 2:54 and 2:57 p.m.,” McGraw said to Hooker. “That’s not what you just told me. You said up until her birthday no meetings, no text messages, no going to hotels.”
Jordan’s mother Tammy Powers also appeared on the show.
“I trusted him with my child and that’s not okay,” she said.
Tammy Powers confronted Hooker for the first time face to face. After hearing of her daughter’s relationship with him, she set up a Facebook page calling out the former business teacher at Enochs High School.
“I think you have no moral compass,” she told Hooker. “I think you’re arrogant, I think you’re self-serving, I think you’re selfish. I think you’re ruining my child.”
The frustrated mother has started a campaign to prove Hooker took advantage of her daughter.
“I’m frustrated, I’m angry, but I’m adamant,” she said. “I’m still going to collect and find information to have James Hooker arrested.”
Tammy Powers said she’ll never accept the relationship despite a plea from Hooker on the show.
“Love is love,” he said. “If it’s over in six months, it’s over in six months. If it’s over in 40 years, we hope you’re okay with it too.”
“I’ll never be okay with it,” Tammy Powers replied, prompting an eruption of cheers from the audience.
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